Democracy 2.0

A simple, legal way to put power in the hands of the people.

Tag: Obama

Explaining Democracy 2.0 to Authoritarians

Authoritarianism is a form of government in which a small group of people makes all the decisions in society. There is no accountability to the people they rule over, and there is no constitution or set of rules these leaders must abide by. It might initially seem like authoritarianism and democracy 2.0 are completely incompatible, but remember: democracy 2.0 is a decision making system, not a form of social organization in and of itself (although it can be). It’s entirely possible for a group to make the decision to relinquish all power to a small group of politicians (or even a single individual). Look at how much power we’ve already let Obama have! Philosopher kings haven’t existed in the past but who’s to say they won’t in the future in the form of artificial intelligence? And let’s not forget that many adults really don’t want to have any responsibility or control over their environment. It’s certainly easier to live that way. I think it’s extremely likely that at least some portion of humanity would actually prefer authoritarian societal organization, although I personally would not.

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of how authoritarians would implement their ideal society from the existing system using democracy 2.0. First, individuals running on the D-2.0 platform must be elected to the majority of political offices. These individuals must at least initially abide by the results of D-2.0 voting. They aren’t authoritarian at this point. The particular individuals representing democracy 2.0 don’t even have to even be authoritarians. Once democracy 2.0 is securely in place and influencing most of the state, the authoritarian individuals (who are also citizens in society) can propose legislation that eliminates the constitution, eliminates voting rights, and appoints authoritarian leaders to positions of power. Of course, the constituency would have to pass these bills in the D-2.0 system, but if they did they would no longer be able to vote in new representatives. The democracy 2.0 system would still exist and the authoritarian leaders could even utilize it to make decisions, but those leaders would no longer have accountability to the people they rule over. The only way to change the system peacefully now would be if the leaders relinquish power and set up a new system that allows for society to have control over what happens to itself, although this is unlikely to happen.

Democracy 2.0 can be used to do anything theoretically, even allow citizens to remove the rights they already have. Our government already does this. The supreme court removed the right of states to secede from the union, something actually guaranteed in the US Constitution. Technically there’s nothing stopping elected politicians right now from passing authoritarian bills, and they do. We should have the ability to take away our own rights! Keep in mind that there are plenty of examples where taking away rights doesn’t solely harm the citizenry. Although it’s a divisive issue, many citizens want to take away your right to own guns. Almost everyone agrees that children should not have the right to have sex with older people.

I leave you with a comical criticism of authoritarianism:

By authoritarian, this comic is referring to the existing US federal government

Remind you of anyone you know?

Explaining Hacking Democracy to Libertarians

If you believe the power of the federal government should be severely limited, you should be a proponent of democracy 2.0. For some reason this is difficult to explain to people: democracy 2.0 is not a new form of government, and it’s not merely direct democracy. It can be eventually but as of right now, it’s a technique, a strategy, to decentralize decision making power.

Let’s look at an example: when legislation was passed in the 1800s strengthening the power of the federal government, those decisions, or legislation, were drafted and voted into law by the elected leaders at the time. These changes in how the government worked were proposed and voted for by citizens, albeit elected citizens. Democracy 2.0 would just give even more citizens a say.

I personally agree that federal government should be toned down, if not entirely eliminated. I think enough other people would agree that legislation could be proposed and voted on using democracy 2.0 & executed by injecting democracy 2.0 that reduced the power of national government. But then again, real democracy has never really been tried at the national level. It would certainly work for some legislation, such as funding a national army or making murder illegal. But more nuanced topics such gun rights or abortion probably are best left to different states.

Democracy 2.0 would even allow states to secede peacefully. As uncomfortable as it might make me to admit, the only thing preventing any state from seceding is the threat of violence brought on by the armed forces of the federal government. Any law that was written against secession can be repealed or amended. There’s nothing inherently special about those particular pieces of legislation. Hypothetically, let’s say a D-2.0 representative was elected to the office of President. If some citizen proposed and received enough support for secession legislation, the hacking democracy representative/commander in chief would have the authority to tell the US armed forces to stand down. Nothing would be preventing states from seceding other than the will of the people.

What do politicians physically do that influences the course of society? They write and vote for laws that dictate the flow of societal funds and energy. They could write legislation banning plants that grow naturally (and they did). They could write legislation that puts taxpayers money in the hands of bankers to gamble with (and they did). They could write legislation strengthening the power of the federal government (and they did). They could write legislation criminalizing alcohol (and they did). They could write legislation undoing the criminalization of alcohol (and they did).

There’s no reason why they couldn’t also write and pass legislation that does the opposite of any of these things. Or why they couldn’t write and pass legislation that does anything else. The point of democracy 2.0 is to give this ability to everyone in society, instead of just the upper echelons with enough money and connections to run for office. Most other movements want you to sign petitions to influence politicians. Signing your name and providing evidence for your claims unfortunately cannot compete with cold hard cash or the allure of acquiring even more power. Instead of trying to alter the minds of existing politicians, we need to start electing a confederate of D-2.0 to office.

It doesn’t matter how much or how little government we have. The people being governed and funding government just need to have the ability to control their lives and where their money is going. This is something every libertarian can agree on. And this is what democracy 2.0 is all about.

Legal precedent for the police state

This is pretty old news, but last month a New York congressman proposed a bill abolishing term limits for the government position of president. It might be a little hard to believe, so here’s the bill itself. This is a reintroduction of a bill proposed two years ago that did the same exact thing. Throughout the 90s this happened several other times. One of these bills will go through eventually.

Obama is passing (I guess the correct term here though would be forcing?) executive orders left and right that effectively strengthen the dictatorial powers granted to him by his predecessors (mainly JFK). Now his buddy in congress is trying to give him to power to remain president indefinitely, clearly because Obama himself could not propose a bill like this without being impeached. The reason for all these executive orders is preparation for war. This includes World War III as well as Civil War 2.0. The people with power want to have the legal precedent to prevent any group from taking their power. This is (one of the many reasons) why violent revolution would fail. Having legal precedent makes actions morally right in the eyes of many, regardless of what those actions are.

But let’s get real: these executive orders are nowhere close to the scariest legislation passed. NDAA 2013 is worse than many of these executive orders for the simple fact that it gives the government the freedom to kill or imprison people without trial. Obama didn’t even need to pass an executive order for that: it got through congress no problem. It’s generally accepted that US citizens no longer have their first, second, fourth, eighth, ninth, and tenth amendment rights. It seems that the people with decision-making power right now do not have the best interests of the people they claim to represent at heart. It’s time to do something. It’s time to hack democracy and take back what should have been ours to begin with.

PS: A while back there was a list of “tyrannical executive orders” Obama had passed circulating the internet. Type “obamas worst executive orders” into google to see what I mean. While still scary, these were not signed by Obama but rather JFK, Ford, and Johnson during the Cold War. Get your facts straight people, otherwise no one will take you seriously. There’s enough real scary shit going on right now that no one should have to embellish the truth to get people’s attention anyway.

Why Hacking Democracy has mass appeal

People are clearly frustrated with the existing system. Sure, many are placated with smartphones, a non-stop stream of addictive media, and freely available drugs but the number of people who are starting to question societal structure is increasing exponentially as existing governments consolidate their power. Just look at your facebook feed. Anyone who followed the 2012 election period is well aware that the existing system is pretty much a farce at this point. Republicans were claiming women couldn’t be raped and democrats are defending the Obama administration selling guns to Mexican drug cartels.

The economic crash of 2008, and the subsequent bailout of “too big to fail” banks is what set off many people questioning the status quo. Obama’s first presidential term proved to the world that it was possible to have a president worse than Bush. This shook up the few paying attention even more. The technology motivated, Arab Spring was the first clear expression of this growing tide of dissent. Then Occupy Wall Street. Now there’s riots in Egypt again. It’s gotten to the point where many die-hard liberals have started questioning societal structure. Die-hard conservatives aren’t even really taken seriously anymore. The congressional approval rating is at an all-time low, and for good reason. Congress keeps putting off resolving the budget crisis due to partisan politics, while bills that strip US citizens of our rights get passed unanimously. All news media and many top government officials worldwide seem pretty certain World War III is imminent. No wants a war though other than power-hungry politicians and corporations that are part of the military industrial complex.

People want a solution to the cancerous system taking over the planet but don’t know how to direct their energy, or their votes. Most rational people think that public servants should serve the public, not the other way around. Democracy 2.0 is an elegant solution anyone can wrap their head around. There’s little risk, as nothing about democracy 2.0 is illegal, difficult, or dangerous. It’s just a more efficient version of the system we claim to have that utilizes a ubiquitous technology roughly a third of the entire world (including children and tribal societies) have access to.

Probably the best part about democracy 2.0, is that other than the elected representative, no one has to even leave their house to participate in this plan. Posting links, drafting legislation, and upvoting good ideas can all be done from the safety of your own home. This is even easier than peaceful protest, let alone violent protest. Democracy 2.0 is the first revolution that actually appeals to people’s laziness. For the first time, “liking this post” will actually have a tangible effect on society.

Another revolutionary component of democracy 2.0 is that it integrates completely with the existing system. For instance, a strategy that can be implemented for the acquisition of mainstream support is getting the D-2.0 representative to run as a democrat or republican. Many people don’t vote for a third party out of fear that the “enemy party” will win the election. There’s no reason why a D-2.0 representative shouldn’t run as a member of the two-party system. People who can’t see past the two-party system will vote for the D-2.0 rep so the other “team” doesn’t win the election and because they think it will maintain the status quo. Hopefully they will also see the D-2.0 rep, accurately, as a democrat/republican who has a closer tie to his constituents than any preceding politician. Why would anyone in their right mind not want that? Every politician in history claims to know what his constituents want. For the D-2.0 rep this would be literally true. Unlike the failed direct democracy party of Australia, any citizen can participate in this system, not merely members of an obscure minor party. Democracy 2.0 is the first revolution your complacent parents can get behind.

And don’t forget that anyone can use the D-2.0 system. Once democracy 2..0 gains enough momentum, citizens can begin publicly pressuring politicians to use this system in conjunction with traditional legislation methods. Instead of interns in the Obama administration providing “official” responses to some petitions, Obama himself could propose legislation using this system and connect more directly with the people who elected him. Why shouldn’t our leaders have some accountability? Why should our government be hiding the legislation they want to pass from the people? Why should it refuse input from any citizen? If our existing leaders have any credibility and good ideas, the D-2.0 system would actually give them more power. Keep in mind that the D-2.0 system gives power to popular, useful ideas, not individuals. There’s no reason why our existing representatives couldn’t be full of good ideas. But the truth is, they probably don’t have many more good ideas for improving society than the average citizen. Wearing a suit doesn’t make you smarter, it just makes you look smarter.

Democracy 2.0 will also appeal to the many individuals who think they know the best way to run society. D-2.0 gives everyone the freedom to change the existing system to something better. Don’t like taxation? It can be removed and a crowdfunding system can be used in it’s place to fund specific government projects. Don’t like being part of the United States? Now you can secede if you get enough support. Want to ban all weapons or give every man, woman, and child mandatory firearm training? Either way, it’s quite possible using D-2.0, unlike the current system that has so much red-tape and bureaucracy many politicians have difficulty navigating it.

Everyone gets a little power instead of a few having all of it. Decentralized systems work. Decentralized leadership will happen. And it all starts with posting links from the comfort of your office chair.

2013 State of the Union

It looks like Obama is already a proponent of democracy 2.0:

“It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few, that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation.

The American people don’t expect government to solve every problem. They don’t expect those of us in this chamber to agree on every issue. But they do expect us to put the nation’s interests before party. They do expect us to forge reasonable compromise where we can, for they know that America moves forward only when we do so together and that the responsibility of improving this union remains the task of us all.

Our work must begin by making some basic decisions about our budget, decisions that will have a huge impact on the strength of our recovery. Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion, mostly through spending cuts, but also by raising tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans. As a result, we are more than halfway towards the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction that economists say we need to stabilize our finances. Now we need to finish the job. And the question is: How?

Right now, there’s a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates. Democrats and Republicans have supported it before. So what are we waiting for? Take a vote and send me that bill. Why are — why would we be against that? Why would that be a partisan issue, helping folks refinance? Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. What’s holding us back? Let’s streamline the process and help our economy grow.

Our actions will not prevent every senseless act of violence in this country. In fact, no laws, no initiatives, no administrative acts will perfectly solve all of the challenges I’ve outlined tonight. But we were never sent here to be perfect. We were sent here to make what difference we can — to secure this nation, expand opportunity, uphold our ideals through the hard, often frustrating, but absolutely necessary work of self-government.

We may do different jobs, and wear different uniforms, and hold different views than the person beside us. But as Americans, we all share the same proud title: We are citizens. It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless these United States of America.”

The Obama administration is pretending to practice digital direct democracy with recent events like the Obama AMA, the fireside hangouts, and the whitehouse petition webpage. The current system is pretending to be D-2.0 because the people running it know that’s what people really want: a leader that actually does what his constituents want.

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